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Trump says Iranian leadership 'wants to meet'

Trump says Iranian leadership 'wants to meet'

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Donald Trump on Thursday said he believes that Iran s leadership wants a meeting, adding to expectations that he is trying to arrange a summit with his Iranian counterpart at the upcoming UN assembly.

"I can tell you that Iran wants to meet," he told reporters at the White House.

Trump has repeatedly indicated he is ready to meet with President Hassan Rouhani, who is expected to attend the UN General Assembly in New York this month. However, the Iranians have so far not given a positive response.

On Wednesday, Rouhani blasted the Trump administration, which has poured pressure on Iran, saying "the Americans must understand that bellicosity and warmongering don t work in their favor. Both... must be abandoned."

Arch-foes Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year when Trump unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal and began reimposing the punitive measures.

Iran responded by scaling back its commitments to the accord, which gave it the promise of sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

However, some analysts see hope for more compromise following this week s exit of Trump s hardline national security advisor John Bolton.